Microsoft has been running the windows 10 build preview since late last year and has been developing it, recently making Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and other apps available for testing on it.
They have now rolled out the build to phones for users who signed up to the Windows Insider Program so here’s what you need to know before you install it:
Windows 10 is meant to run on a variety of devices and as such will work the same way on phones as it has been working on PCs. The builds will only be rolled it after being tested by Microsoft’s own engineers, and these will be sent out continuously until the final Windows 10 operating system (OS) is ready. The best part is you can switch back to your old OS from the build preview if you want, at any time using the new Windows Phone Recovery Tool.
In its blog, Microsoft has stated that obviously the build is still under construction and users should expect bugs and a not-so-fluid user experience (UX) but the users are there to help develop the code based system at its every step.
Microsoft also admitted that much of their focus has been on the platform development rather than the user interface (UI) so not much will be visible at this stage.
Some of the improvements that have been added are:
- Interactive notifications: these will allow users to respond to a notification directly on the pop up, rather than it re-directing to the main app it’s from.
- Background image: for the start page. Previously you couldn’t have an image of your own in the background of your Windows phone.
- Improved voice to text: With almost any app, you can type or command your phone using your voice. The feature has also been smarter to pay attention to words that sound similar and use the correct one in the punctuation of a sentence, e,g ‘there’ and ‘their’ (however, the digital assistant Cortana will only be available in the US and in English for now).
- More Quick actions: the windows 8.1 version for phones had only 4 quick actions but now Windows 10 will give more, up to 3 rows.
- Enhanced Photos app: this will now show all your photos from both the device and your OneDrive account.
Be warned though, that some of the bugs that may come with the build may disrupt some features of your phone. Right now the Windows 10 build is working well with the Lumia range of smartphones (630, 635, 636, 638, 730, 830).